At My Age
Sunday. We learn, we do learn, but slowly, even at this age. To bed last night at eight, up at six feeling good again, yesterday a foggy loss. Too bad about missing out on the Pistahan parade and the Nihonmachi Street Fair, but such is life. The Pistahan is still going on today, so maybe I'll make it over later. Whatever I did Friday night, no matter how “good” and “sharp” and such I might have felt, I obviously can't handle that before a long day's shooting. I've learned this more than once. Not that I won't do it again, I'm sure I will, but not before a day's shooting and certainly not, in any case, too often.
But OK, as I said, we're feeling pretty good. A little time on the guitar to unlimber the fingers this morning, I think, before heading out the door. Might as well go to the city and shoot the Pistahan (a Filipino celebration I photographed last year, a festival I stumbled upon when the parade came marching up Market while I was waiting for a bus heading to Japantown to shoot the Nihonmachi Street Fair and said “what's this?”), but we'll see. I talk a good game and then often as not I don't follow through; best to keep my mouth shut. The sky is overcast, it's eight in the morning, back now from breakfast and the papers, the day ahead.
Later. Maybe half an hour on the guitar before heading out the door for the city wondering if I might not be too early, but arrived at the Pistahan Festival in good sorts, the camera strap wrapped around my wrist, a 105mm lens in place on the one camera. I thought about bringing two cameras, one with the 24 - 70mm, one with the 70 - 200mm, but decided against it. I usually shoot ninety percent of my photos with the 70 -200mm anyway and regret having taken the 24 - 70mm later for the extra weight and the aching back. The more shooting I do, the less “crap” I want for encumbrance. You see guys out there saddled with everything but a darkroom in the field and I wonder how they ever get any of their many cameras up to take a picture. Of course they're all younger and undoubtedly stronger and handle their Guinness with no problems the day after....
Still, over an hour walking around the festival, a picture here, a picture there. I was surprised when I got back to the apartment and realized how many of them seem to have turned out reasonably well. I can remember each shot and what it was I was seeing, what I was looking for; some I got and some I missed, but the misses were few. So another page up on artandlife under Miscellaneous San Francisco photos tomorrow, more than enough to choose from. Another half hour's shooting and I'd have had enough for two. My one in ten turning out became one in three and that's pretty good.
Maybe you're kidding yourself about quality. Maybe most of them are crap and you're just not seeing it.
That's always an issue, but it works itself out with a couple of days to think about it. Them. They come into focus fairly quickly, actually, the good separating themselves from the bad. The less good. Of course my idea changes again if I come back in say a couple of years. The eye grows fuzzier or sharper, it's hard to tell. I, of course, say sharper, more mature. But if it wasn't that way you'd stop. Would you not? Hard to say you're a photographer if you stop taking pictures.
Still, a couple of hours of walking and I'm tired now that I'm back in the late afternoon. And a bit hungry too. More guitar, I think, I still need to make up for the day before yesterday, the first day I missed practice since starting. For the moment it's play the songs and learn to more quickly recognize the notes, all six strings on these first four frets. Which I'm finding fun. Sharps and flats too, doodle-dee-doo. Well, they haven't quite gotten to the flats yet, but I seem to recall flats are the sharps of the whole note just ahead. Or behind. Do I remember that correctly? Sharps and flats at my age. Here in Oakland.